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M-715 Kaiser Jeep 1 1/4-ton 4x4 Truck

The Kaiser Jeep Corporation M-715 "five quarter" truck was built for the U.S. military based on the civilian Jeep Gladiator. The M-715 was the first attempt by the U.S. military to buy commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) based vehicles instead of fully specialized military designs. The M-715 family saw service in Vietnam, but was considered underpowered and fragile when compared to purpose-built tactical trucks like the Dodge M-37 it was intended to replace.

Truck, Cargo, 1 1/4 Ton, 4x4, M-715 in Army maintenance area
Truck, Cargo, 1 1/4 Ton, 4x4, M-715 in Army maintenance area.

Today in WW II: 25 Oct 1943 American and New Zealand troops land at Mono and Stirling, Treasury Islands, south of Bougainville [25-27 Oct].  More 
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25 Oct 1944 Battle off Samar [Leyte]: US Admiral Sprague skillfully prevents a loss to the stronger Japanese force under Japanese Admiral Kurita.
25 Oct 1944 Battle off Cape Engaño (Leyte): lopsided naval battle resulting in the loss of most of Japanese Northern Force to US Admiral Halsey's carrier planes and battleships [25-26 Oct].
25 Oct 1944 Soviet Red Army enters Kirkenes, the first town in Norway to be liberated from the Germans.
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Kaiser Jeep Military M-715 Series 1 1/4-ton (5/4) Truck (G-890)

Restored M-715
Restored M-715 1 1/4-ton truck. Photo courtesy of Scott Brandt of www.MotoeXotica.com

In 1965 Kaiser Jeep Corporation designed and developed the M-715 1 1/4-ton series truck, often called the "five quarter," based upon a performance specification rather than a full specification as had been the past practice. A two-step Invitation For Bid (IFB) was used to solicit bids from industry resulting in a contract award to Kaiser Jeep on 31 March 1966. Under terms of that contract, first production quantities were delivered within ten months of the contract award. The first month's production quantity was subjected to engineering and user testing for determination of compliance with performance specifications in the contract. Upon completion of these tests, the new vehicles were released to user organizations within the Department of Defense.

Kaiser Jeep Military M-715 Vehicles and Variants

The M-715 was intended to replace the Dodge M-37 series of 3/4-ton trucks. Delivery of over 33,000 vehicles was made in 1967-1969, with four models:

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the Kaiser Jeep M-715 Series 1 1/4-ton trucks at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

Truck, Cargo, 1 1/4-ton 4x4 M715 with Trailer, Cargo, 3/4 ton M101.
M715 5/4 Ton Truck by Kaiser Jeep.
Truck, Cargo, 1 1/4-ton 4x4 M715 with S-250/G Electrical Equipment Shelter. The shelter is constructed of aluminum and designed to house various communication configurations. It weighs 630 pounds and has a payload of 1,900 pounds when transported by the M715 Cargo Truck. The shelter is RFI shielded and incorporates a combination sling for lift and tie-down to the vehicle.
Truck, Cargo, 1 1/4-ton 4x4 M715 with arctic kits installed.  M715 Series vehicles to be used in cold climates can be modified to provide personnel with protection from the elements. This modification is effected through the applicable use of a metal Crew Compartment Enclosure Kit (FSN 2510-933-3979), Crew Compartment Heater Kit (-50F) (FSN 2540-933-3983), insulated Cargo Compartment Enclosure Kit (KJC Part 978414) and the Cargo Compartment Heater Kit (-50F) (KJC Part 978476). In addition, the engine components of vehicles assigned to cold weather use are protected by the Engine Heater Kit (-50F) (FSN 2540-933-3978).
Rear view of Truck, Cargo, 1 1/4 Ton, 4x4, M-715 with maintenance truck body. Although it resembles the M-726 Truck, Maintenance, the dataplate of this US Navy CB vehicle says M715. Located at the Historic Aircraft Restoration Project (HARP) hangar, Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, NY. Photo courtesy of Phil Gilson.
Interior of the rear compartment, Ambulance, 1 1/4-ton 4x4 M725, a variant of the M715 Cargo Truck.

The M-715 series trucks were built on a common frame and wheelbase, but with different bodies. Both the Contract Maintenance truck and the M-726 Telephone Maintenance truck were built utilizing the M-724 Cab and Chassis.

To create the M-715, the civilian Jeep Gladiator was modified with military features, including:

  • Open, canvas top cab with fold-down windshield
  • Military exclusive cargo box which will accommodate all communications shelters used with the M37 plus the S-250 shelter
  • Deep water fording capability
  • 24-volt electrical system employing a 60 ampere alternator
  • Arctic operational capabilities and a truck bed

Other variations were created using the M-724 Cab and chassis or the M-715 Cargo with a different body. For example:

Truck, Cargo, 1 1/4 Ton, 4x4, M-715 with maintenance truck body. Although it resembles the M-726 Truck, Maintenance, the dataplate of this US Navy CB vehicle says M715. Located at the Historic Aircraft Restoration Project (HARP) hangar, Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, NY.  Photo courtesy of Phil Gilson
Truck, Cargo, 1 1/4 Ton, 4x4, M-715 with maintenance truck body. Although it resembles the M-726 Truck, Maintenance, the dataplate of this US Navy CB vehicle says M715. Located at the Historic Aircraft Restoration Project (HARP) hangar, Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, NY. Photo courtesy of Phil Gilson.

In 1967 Kaiser Jeep Corporation reorganized and formed the Defense and Government Products Division devoted exclusively to the research, development and production of Government vehicles. In 1971 that division became AM General, who later developed and produced the HMMWV.

M-715 Series 1 1/4-ton 4x4 Specifications

EngineJeep 230 CI overhead cam "Tornado-OHC" straight 6
Engine horsepower140
Engine torque210 LB-FT at 1750 RPM
TransmissionT-98a 6.32:1 "granny" low gear
Transfer caseNP200, 1.91:1 ratio low range
Front axleDana 60
Rear axleDana 70, full floating
Axle gear ratio5:87 to 1

Manuals for the M-715 Series 1 1/4-ton 4x4 trucks will be numbered TM 9-2320-244-xx where the xx represents the maintenance level.

Thanks to Timothy L Dennison for help with this page.

Kaiser Jeep M-715 Internet Resources

One Internet site stands out for this vehicle: The M-715 Zone caters to the needs of M-715 owners and afficianados. All aspects of the "greatest 4x4 on Earth" are open to discussion including, technical questions, history, specifications, swaps and of course putting 'em through their paces!!! Includes chat room, message board, links.

Find More Information on the Internet

There are many fine websites that have additional information on this topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go. Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.

For good results, try entering this: kaiser m715 or m-715. Then click the Search button.

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